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Michigan: A Very Romantic Anniversary Get-a-Way!

Author: Mark D. Ochsankehl
Date of Trip: January 2001

Every year my wife and I go on a special outing for our anniversary. We have been married for 25 years and look forward to sampling a new place every year. We try to find some place special, with lots of amenities, a warm feeling about it, where it is peaceful and quiet, and especially an awesome place to enjoy one another’s company and the company of other friendly people.

We have been to various hotels and cabins, but the one that sticks out in our memories the most, is Briar Oaks Inn Bed and Breakfast in Adrian, Michigan, which is in the southwest corner of Michigan. It was the perfect combination of everything we were looking for in an anniversary get-a-way!!! Even though it has been almost seven years since we have been there, the memories are as fresh as if we visited there yesterday. I understand that it is every bit as wonderful today as it was then.

You can find more about it at It has a five star rating and the website describes it as a “romantic 1933 Inn set among 100 year old oak trees on four acres of land overlooking Beaver Creek. All rooms feature a full bath, fireplace, Jacuzzi and King size beds with pillow top mattresses. Hot breakfast is served from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM and a continental breakfast is available from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM.” We especially enjoyed the fireplace. We like reading and it was the perfect warm and cozy place to cuddle up and enjoy a good book and each other’s company. The Jacuzzi was heart shaped and made for some incredibly memorable times. The bed was pleasant and comfortable and the atmosphere of the room and the entire bed and breakfast was outstanding and unforgettable.

The history of the bed and breakfast is fascinating. According to the owners, Gene and Karin Whitcher, “Briar oaks inn was built in the 1930’s by a prominent local businessman on four acres of picturesque woods overlooking Beaver Creek. He acquired beautiful oak floors from mansions that were being torn down in Ann Arbor for the expansion of the University of Michigan. Throughout Briar Oaks Inn you will see the beauty and fine craftsmanship used in building this romantic getaway.” For those of you who might speak German, Mrs. Whitcher is quite articulate and speaks it fluently.

The inn keepers made a spectacular breakfast and were friendly, polite, accommodating and pleasant to work with. When it comes time for dinner, be sure to take a short drive over to The Hathaway House. It is a designated Michigan Historic Site and serves excellent cuisine. Or if you are into an old west motif definitely check out the Golden Nugget Restaurant. Bon Appetit!

The grounds are beautiful, in the quiet countryside, surrounded by gorgeous trees and a pleasurable winding creek that adds to the romantic qualities. It is an ideal spot to walk, hold hands and build recollections that last a lifetime.

If you are looking for things to do nearby, Adrian is a great place to shop for antiques, enjoy gourmet and fine dining, sample wine at a local winery, sip authentic UK tea at the British Pantry, attend the symphony or opera, explore one of Michigan’s fabulous state parks or the Hidden Lake Gardens (a 755 acre arboretum maintained by Michigan State University), attend a live theater production, go to a movie, worship in a nearby church, even wrangle up a rodeo. The Murder Mystery Dinner Train is nearby and a great source of entertainment for the comical macabre crowd.

If you are in to more sporty type activities, there are numerous golf courses, skydiving, plenty of riding trials for the bicyclists, horseback riding for the equine enthusiasts, the Michigan International Speedway for the racing aficionados, or dive into one of the nearby swimming holes in the water wonderland. Plus, do not forget to visit Cabela’s, one of the world’s foremost outfitters and sporting goods mega-stores in nearby Dundee, MI.

There is always something going on in the area, so if you are looking for special local events you can usually find something special every season. During the winter you can enjoy a Madrigal Dinner or celebrate the Tip Up Festival. In the spring visit the art festival, car show and swap meet, or the “Promenade of the Past” home tour. Summer is the time for NASCAR races, the Adrian Summer Fest, the River Raisin Festival and the World Championship Rodeo. Fall brings its own pleasure, with the St. John’s Oktoberfest and the Appleumkin Festival and Art Show.

As the saying goes, “The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.” Therefore, I would thoroughly recommend Briar Oaks Inn Bed and Breakfast in Adrian, Michigan to anyone looking for a very romantic anniversary get-a-way or simply an excellent bed and breakfast experience!!! Enjoy…

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